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St. John Properties and Somerset Construction Select Elm Street Development to Build 2,000 Homes at Baltimore Crossroads

19 Nov 2013, 2:26 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Earlier this year, St. John Properties, Inc. and the Somerset Construction Company unveiled conceptual plans for the $100 million Greenleigh at Crossroads mixed-use development in Eastern Baltimore County, the next phase of Baltimore Crossroads. Now, the joint venture has selected Elm Street Development as the residential development partner for the project.

Greenleigh at Crossroads is a 200-acre development expected to deliver a mixture of mid-rise Class “A” commercial office buildings, retail amenities and housing options. It was designed by the planning and urban design firm Design Collective, Inc., and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz called it a town center ”unlike anything else in Baltimore County.” The residential portion of the project includes a mix of single family homes, townhomes, apartments and condos. Construction on the first 2,000 residential units is expected to start in summer 2014.

Both Edward St. John, chairman of St. John Properties, and Mike Caruthers, principal of Somerset Construction, praised Elm Street Development, with Edward St. John calling the McLean, Virginia-based company ”the perfect partner” for the joint venture.

“Eastern Baltimore County residents are ready for an elevated residential product mix that complements the existing luxury apartment community, and we are extremely confident that Elm Street Development can execute our vision for Greenleigh at Crossroads,” Caruthers added in a statement for the press. “This next critical phase of Baltimore Crossroads represents a multi-year program, and Elm Street has demonstrated its understanding of the marketplace, as well as its ability to create distinguished and marketable residential communities.”

Greenleigh at Crossroads is part of the 1,000-acre Baltimore Crossroads mixed-use business community on Maryland Route 43, in White Marsh, about 10 miles from downtown Baltimore. Since 2007, St. John Properties has developed almost 1.2 million square feet of space there. This includes 16 buildings with 500,000 square feet of commercial office, R&D, and retail space. Approximately 3,000 employees currently work in the business community and St. John expects 10,000 people to be employed there when the project is finished. Baltimore Crossroads is designed to support over five million square feet of office, R&D/flex, warehouse and industrial space, 450,000 square feet of retail space, and two hotels.

Photo credits: St. John Properties, Inc.



101 Ellwood Modern Apartments & Lofts Opens its Doors to First Residents

10 Nov 2013, 8:16 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Baltimore’s Highlandtown Middle School was designed by architects Wyatt and Nolting and is considered one of the most important historical and architectural buildings in the area. The seven-story building opened in 1934 and operated until 2005. Last year, Shaffin Jetta and Focus Development, Inc., his company, started a $27 million redevelopment project to convert the old school into luxury apartments.

101 Ellwood Modern Apartments & Lofts is located at 101 S. Ellwood Avenue, in the Baltimore-Linwood neighborhood and close to both the 138-acre Patterson Park and Canton Square. It offers 140 studios, one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments as well as a list of unique amenities such as a zen courtyard, rooftop deck, fitness center with yoga room, dog washing station, and an attached parking garage with 146 spaces. Each unit features floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, granite counters, solid wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and full-size washers/dryers. 101 Ellwood was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

The first residents of 101 Ellwood Modern Apartments & Lofts moved into their new luxury apartment and loft homes on November 1. According to the community’s website, apartments range between 550 square feet and 1,155 square feet, with rents between $1,225 and $2,250 per month. Pierce Eislen, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based technology company providing online market research services to the commercial apartment industry, reports that rents for one-bedroom units in the Baltimore area, in fall 2013, ranged between $494 and $2,701 per month, with the average rent at $1,011 per month. Rents for two-bedroom units ranged between $760 and $4,549 per month, with the average rent at $1,431 per month.

“I think we’re the right product for the marketplace. There is nothing in our price point that is anywhere close to our quality,” Focus Development LLC principal Shaffin Jetha said in a press statement.

Photo credits: http://101ellwood.prospectportal.com/



FCC Environmental to Start Work on $50M Used Oil Recycling Facility in Baltimore in Q2 2014

2 Nov 2013, 8:18 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

FCC Environmental, a Houston-based service provider of waste oil collection and processing, announced it will break ground on a used motor oil recycling facility in Baltimore, in the second quarter of 2014.

Work on the project started in February 2012, with the preliminary layout of the facility, topographical surveys and soil borings. The construction of the facility was scheduled to begin in fall 2012, following the issuance of environmental and construction permits. However, FCC Environmental only recently received an air permit to construct from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The Houston-based company now plans to start construction in the first months of 2014. The facility is expected to cost $50 million. It will be located on a six-acre parcel of land on the former Chevron Asphalt Terminal in Fairfield, an under-utilized brownfield site south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (1-895).

The state-of-the-art facility is expected to cost $50 million and to open in the second quarter of 2015. When fully operational, it is expected to process almost 40 million gallons of used motor oil each year. Approximately 1.2 billion gallons of used motor oil are collected in the U.S. annually. The Baltimore plant will recycle the used motor oil back into Group II and II+ base oils that will be sold and transported off-site via trucks and rail to be processed into passenger car motor oils, heavy duty engine oils, transmission fluids and other lubricating products.

“The environmental systems associated with the recycling facility will be comprised of the best technology available, as one would expect, to control the air emissions,” said Ken Cherry, executive vice president and general manager of FCC Environmental, in a press statement. “We believe these emission controls will become the model for future similar plants.”

The project is expected to create 100 construction jobs. The facility will employ 30 full-time workers. Many of these positions will be classified as ”green.”

FCC Environmental is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas. The Madrid, Spain-based company is one of the largest environmental service providers in the world, with more than 90,000 employees operating in over 50 countries.

Photo credits: FCC Environmental



Amazon to Open Fulfillment Center in Baltimore Next Year, Create 1,000 Full-Time Jobs

28 Oct 2013, 12:54 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Amazon.com, Inc. announced it plans to open a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Baltimore. The facility will provide full-time jobs for more than 1,000 employees.

Duke Realty Corp., an Indiana-based commercial real estate company, will build the facility for Amazon on the site of the former General Motors plant in Southeast Baltimore. The state declared the site an impoverished area. The facility will feature 50-foot ceilings and nearly 2,000 parking spaces, according to documents submitted by Duke Realty this summer and approved by the city. The distribution center is expected to open next year.

Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship books, electronics and consumer goods at the new facility. In the news release, Amazon said its fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs and offer many other benefits. “We are proud to be bringing more than 1,000 full-time jobs with great wages and benefits to Baltimore,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, in a statement for the press. “These are full-time jobs that offer company stock awards, 401(k) and programs like Career Choice where Amazon will pre-pay the cost of tuition for employees to go back to school. We are grateful to the state and local elected officials who supported Amazon coming to Maryland and we look forward to being a part of the community.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the Baltimore-Towson Metropolitan Area had an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent as of August 2013, 0.2 percent lower than the national unemployment rate. In July 2013, the unemployment rate in the area was 7.5 percent, and, in August 2012, it was 4.7 percent.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake were both excited and thrilled about the good news. “As Mayor, I have made growing Baltimore City’s economy a major priority. The fulfillment center presents a unique industrial development opportunity due to its location to the Port of Baltimore, as well as its access to the city and interstate highway system. I am proud of the City’s efforts, working in partnership with the State, Duke Realty and Amazon to bring this fulfillment center and jobs to Baltimore City,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the project will get some financial help from the city and state. This incentives package helped bring the Seattle-based e-commerce company to Maryland. It will be worth over $43 million.

Photo credits: Amazon



Chesapeake Realty, Wood Partners and Bernstein Management Break Ground on the Winthrop Luxury Apartments

24 Oct 2013, 2:32 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Chesapeake Realty Partners, Wood Partners and the Bernstein Management Corporation recently broke ground on the first phase of a project that will ultimately bring 470 new luxury apartments to a 13-acre site in downtown Towson. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz was present at the event.

Development started in July with the demolition of the 70-year old, 150-unit Dulaney Valley Apartments at 944 Dulaney Valley Road. The developers announced the purchase of the old apartment complex in November, 2012. They will construct an environmentally friendly “green” apartment community on the site. The Baltimore Business Journal reported in August that the total cost of the project is estimated at $100 million.

The Winthrop is the first of two four-story buildings the developers plan to construct on the site. It will feature 295 luxury apartments and will include such amenities as controlled-access parking garages, Resident’s Clubs, swimming pools with outdoor living rooms, fitness centers, and game rooms. Leasing for this Class A community is expected to start in May 2014.

The second phase of the project will be developed by Wood Partners and Taylor Property Group. The developers announced in July the building will feature 175 units and the same amenities as the Winthrop. The two buildings are designed to be complementary but will be operated separately. Construction on the second building will begin once the Winthrop is finished.

“More than 2,600 new luxury apartments, town homes and student apartments have been recently built or are in development in downtown Towson,” Kevin Kamenetz said in a statement for the press. “The Winthrop will be a first-class apartment community that is sure to attract people looking for a great location near work, college, shopping, restaurants and entertainment.”

Investments worth over $770 million are bringing new offices, luxury apartments, shops and restaurants to downtown Towson. Notable projects include the Cinemark-anchored Towson Square entertainment center and the $300 million Towson Row mixed-use development.

Photo credits: Chesapeake Realty Partners



Reliable Churchill Headquarters Relocation will Bring 500 Jobs

11 Oct 2013, 6:33 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

 

Five hundred new jobs are coming to Baltimore County. Reliable Churchill, the largest wine and spirits distributor in Maryland and a member of The Charmer Sunbelt Group, plans to move its headquarters to a new state-of-the-art warehouse and office complex at Baltimore Crossroads @95, in White Marsh/Middle River. The project is one of the most important to break ground in the county this year.

Located in Anne Arundel, Reliable Churchill’s current headquarters are unable to meet the company’s needs. The new headquarters building will have 449,200 square feet of space and will consolidate the company’s office and warehouse operations. Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC and Industrial Income Trust will construct the new facility for Reliable Churchill. The two companies are part of Baltimore Crossroads @95’s development team which also includes the Somerset Construction Company and St. John Properties.

The Baltimore Business Journal reported the entire deal is worth approximately $50 million, including the building’s construction and fit-out. Ground will be broken later this year, with a completion date set for March.

“Reliable Churchill’s move to Baltimore County adds a new headquarters with over 500 associates to the thousands of people already working at Baltimore Crossroads,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in a press statement. “Baltimore Crossroads in Middle River has become a significant employment center, made possible when the State and Baltimore County built the extension of Maryland Route 43 to open 1,000 acres of land for business and job creation.”

Baltimore Crossroads @95 is a 1,000-acre mixed use development located along Maryland Route 43 between White Marsh and the Middle River waterfront, and near Interstate 95. When finished, it will include 5.5 million square feet of office and flex space, manufacturing/industrial, retail amenities, and a mix of homes, luxury apartments and open space. Earlier this year, on April 24, St. John Properties, Inc. and Somerset Construction Company unveiled plans for the $100 million Greenleigh at Crossroads project, the next phase of Baltimore Crossroads @95.

Photo credits: www.baltimorecrossroads.com.



Acer Exhibits and Events Buys 167,000 Sq. Ft. Warehouse in Havre de Grace

7 Oct 2013, 12:06 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Acer Exhibits and Events, LLC, a full service custom exhibits agency, has purchased the 167,270-square-foot facility at 1601 Clark Road in Havre de Grace and plans to turn it into its new headquarters. The Belcamp-based company acquired the warehouse from Michigan-based Becker Properties for $3 million, or about $17.94 per square foot.

Acer manufactures, sells and rents exhibit equipment for trade shows. It was founded in 2003, occupying only 14,000 square feet of space at first. The company has grown rapidly since opening and has expanded, now leasing 100,000 square feet at 4610 Mercedes Drive in Belcamp. But the current facility is unable to meet the growing company’s needs. As it continues its expansion, Acer acquired the warehouse in Havre de Grace and plans to move into the new facility in the second quarter of 2014.

“We are truly excited by the prospect of staying in the county and moving into a larger facility that will meet the needs for Acer and our clients for years to come. The long vacant building built in 1970 will need a major makeover but we are confident that the county and the city of Havre de Grace will be our partners in getting the operation up and running quickly. Additionally, the 25-acre campus provides Acer with plenty of expansion room should the need arise in the future,” Mark Crane, owner and president of Acer Exhibits, said in a statement for the press.

The new building will allow Acer to expand its manufacturing and client exhibit storage as well as provide ample room for their state of the art CNC and laser manufacturing equipment and workshop. CBRE vice presidents Ketch Secor and Alan Grace arranged the sale for ACER. Jon Green and Peter Dudley of KLNB represented Becker Properties.

Photo credits: Google Maps.



Maryland Officials Celebrate Topping Off of New Enterprise Homes Senior Housing Development

27 Sep 2013, 6:11 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Maryland officials joined Enterprise Homes on Wednesday, September 25, to celebrate the topping off of The Greens at English Consul, an affordable, senior housing development located in the Lansdowne/Baltimore Highlands neighborhood of Baltimore County. The Greens at English Consul is the first new construction in this neighborhood in almost 20 years.

Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner, Maryland State Senator Edward Kasemeyer, Maryland Delegate James Malone, Jr., and Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk were among those present at the event.

The Greens at English Consul is a $14.6 million project that will deliver 90 affordable apartments for seniors earning up to 60 percent of the area’s median income. The four-story building will consist of 72 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom apartments. Amenities include a covered entry porch with sitting areas, a large paved patio, a library with computer terminals, a community room, TV lounge and sports bar, activity room, laundry room, mail room and fitness room.

The Greens at English Consul was designed with a focus on energy efficiency and environmental benefits, and is expected to meet the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. It features energy-efficient windows, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, energy-saving light fixtures, Green Label carpeting and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company is the general contractor, with Grimm + Parker as the architect. Funding comes from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME funds, Rental Housing Works funds, Partnership Rental Housing funds, EmPower Maryland funds, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, a Maryland tax-exempt bond, an FHA-insured first mortgage and developer equity. Construction is expected to be finished in early 2014.

Photo credits: Enterprise Homes



Metro Crossing Luxury Apartments Open in Owings Mills

20 Sep 2013, 5:27 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Metro Crossing luxury apartments opened September 19, in the Metro Centre at Owings Mills, Baltimore County’s first transit-oriented development. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and other officials were present at the event.

Metro Crossing features two five-story buildings, with 232 one- and two-bedroom apartments and ground-floor retail and restaurant space. Apartments range from 700 square feet to 1,245 square feet, with rents between $1,580 and $1,695 for one-bedrooms and $1,855 and $2,490 for two-bedroom units.

Metro Crossing is located along Grand Central Avenue, next to the Owings Mills Metro station and the new County Campus at Metro Centre library and community college building. Community amenities include a two-story clubroom with lounge seating, Wifi, multimedia center, fitness facility, yoga room, billiards and catering kitchen, roof-top reflecting pool with barbecues, fireplace and lounge seating, free parking, bike racks and more.

The apartments are part of the Metro Centre at Owings Mills mixed-use, transit-oriented development, a project developed by Owings Mills Transit LLC and managed by David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd. When finished, it will feature over 1.2 million square feet of Class “A” office space, 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 1,700 market-rate apartment homes in mid-rise and high-rise buildings, a 250-room hotel, as well as the 120,000-square foot County Campus library and Community College.

“This is a landmark year for the Metro Centre at Owings Mills,” Kevin Kamenetz said in a press statement. “The county’s largest library branch opened in March, the Community College of Baltimore County center held its first classes in July, and now the first residents of Metro Crossing are enjoying all the conveniences of town center living.”

Photo credits: http://metrocentreom.com/



Blue Ocean Realty Buys Downtown Baltimore’s Only LEED Gold EB Certified Office Tower

9 Sep 2013, 4:36 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Baltimore’s 201 North Charles Street has a new owner. Blue Ocean Realty, a local company, paid $19.7 million or about $75 per square foot for the property. Jonathan M. Carpenter and James S. Wellschlager of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group represented the seller, Lexington Charles Limited Partnership. The deal is the first significant investment sale in downtown Baltimore since 2007.

201 North Charles Street is a 28-story Class-A office building located in Baltimore’s Central Business District (CBD), just blocks from City Hall and the Inner Harbor. It was completed in 1967 and offers 264,126 square feet of space. At a height of 350 feet, 201 North Charles Street is the 13th-tallest building in the city. It is also the only LEED Gold EB Certified office tower in Baltimore’s CBD. In 1993, it earned the BOMA Building of the Year Award.

“This sale signals an increase in investor confidence in the Downtown Baltimore office market as fundamentals continue to gradually improve in the Baltimore CBD,” Jonathan M. Carpenter, managing director and principal at Cassidy Turley, said in a press statement. “Competition for investment opportunities in gateway markets such as New York and Washington D.C. remains frothy, and Baltimore is increasingly viewed as a viable investment alternative.”

Another Baltimore office building, not far from 201 North Charles Street, also recently changed hands. The Baltimore Business Journal reported that Associated Black Charities Inc. has sold its Mount Vernon headquarters building for $1.2 million to Jabber Five Real Estate Group. The 11,000-square-foot building is located at 1114 Cathedral Street. Associated Black Charities will continue to lease space in the building and will occupy the entire second floor, but the Baltimore Business Journal reports that the new owner plans to replace the former office space with retail.

Photo credits: Google Maps



Interpark Holdings Buys 300 East Pratt Street in Baltimore

31 Aug 2013, 7:12 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland Inc. recently arranged the sale of 300 East Pratt Street, a fully automated surface parking lot located in the heart of the Baltimore Central Business District. The price of the transaction was not disclosed.

Interpark Holdings, a private investor of parking assets in the United States, was the buyer. The Chicago-based company acquired the property from UrbanAmerica Advisors, LLC, which was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets team of Cristopher Abramson, Brian Kruger, Nicholas Signor and Jonathon Chalkley, along with broker Courtenay Jenkins.

The News-American building was once located on the one-acre site at 300 East Pratt Street. The building was demolished in 1986 and, since then, the site was used as a parking lot. UrbanAmerica acquired it in 2006 for $27.5 million, and had planned to build a 50-story tower with 300 condos, 40,000 square feet of retail space and a hotel. However, the plans were scrapped when the recession hit.

The one-acre site bordering Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is now the last remaining parcel of land on Pratt Street, and Cristopher Abramson thinks it is one of the best development sites left in the state of Maryland. According to Cushman & Wakefield, it has the potential for approximately 600,000 square feet of development.

The future is looking bright for 300 East Pratt Street. After over two decades of planning, work could finally start on a project that will fill this vacant lot. According to The Baltimore Sun, a new apartment tower with retail space could rise at 300 East Pratt Street in the next four to six years.

Photo credits: Cushman & Wakefield 



Susquehanna Bank Signs Lease at 11155 Dolfield Boulevard

25 Aug 2013, 8:13 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Bank, the 37th largest commercial bank in the United States, plans to relocate its mortgage division from Hunt Valley to Owings Mills this month. It recently signed a lease for 12,750 square feet at 11155 Dolfield Boulevard. The lease increases the overall occupancy of the building owned by St. John Properties, Inc. to 95 percent.

The property at 11155 Dolfield Boulevard is a two-story, 71,400 square foot Class “A” office building. It is situated in Dolfield Business Park, near Red Run Boulevard and the Owings Mills interchange off Interstate 795. The building’s location puts it in an emerging residential and retail market that includes Metro Centre at Owings Mills, hotels, banks and restaurants. Downtown Baltimore is just 13 miles away, while the BWI Airport is 15 miles away. The landlord was represented by Will McCullough, Leasing Agent for St. John Properties. Mark Deering of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services represented the tenant.

Jerry Wit, senior vice president of marketing at St. John Properties, said in a press statement that in recent years the office leasing activity in the Owings Mills and Reisterstown Road corridor has lagged slightly behind the pace experienced throughout Baltimore County. He added, however, that the northwest corridor is now experiencing a ”renaissance.” Office tenants are attracted to the region by numerous factors such as its transportation network, the new retail and residential development projects developed and under development in the area, the recent lack of new office buildings delivered and the expansion of Stevenson University.

Photo credits: St. John Properties, Inc.



Columbia’s Rivers Business Commons Sold To Fernau LeBlanc Investment Partners

12 Aug 2013, 5:57 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc. recently sold Columbia’s Rivers Business Commons on behalf of Greenfield Partners. The price of the transaction was not disclosed. Fernau LeBlanc Investment Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate owner and operator, was the buyer.

Rivers Business Commons is located at 8945-8975 Guilford Road, immediately off Route 32, Broken Land Parkway & I-95, in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and close to both cities. The four-building office complex totals 101,596 square feet and is comprised of single- and two-story assets. In a press release, Cushman & Wakefield said Rivers Business Commons is 87 percent leased to such notable tenants as St. Agnes Hospital, Black & Veatch and Beazer Homes.

Greenfield Partners acquired Rivers Business Commons in April 2012. The South Norwalk, Connecticut–based company paid $8 million for the Class A office complex.

Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets team of Cristopher Abramson, Brian Kruger, Nicholas Signor and Jonathon Chalkley represented the seller. “This transaction rewards the seller for the lease-up realized since their purchase and the institutional maintenance of a quality asset,” Cristopher Abramson said in a press statement. “The buyer has acquired a very well located property with excellent tenancy and great term.”

Greenfield Partners isn’t the only company looking to sell Baltimore area office properties. The Baltimore Business Journal reported that First Potomac Realty Trust entered into a contract to sell the 74,000-square-foot Triangle Business Center at 1500 Joh Ave. in Baltimore and Arbutus. The potential sale price was not disclosed.

Cassidy Turley reports that the Greater Baltimore office market continues to improve, with the office vacancy rate finally approaching the historical average. The second quarter of the year has seen the vacancies drop to 17.13 percent, a decline experienced in both Class A and Class B inventory. Class A rental rates have increased to almost $26.00 per square foot.

Charts courtesy of Cassidy Turley.



Wood Partners, Chesapeake Realty Partners and Taylor Property Group Plan 470 Units for Towson

5 Aug 2013, 9:18 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Wood Partners has joined forces with Chesapeake Realty Partners and the Taylor Property Group to bring 470 new homes to the Towson Town Center. Work has already started on the project which will be developed in two phases.

Two four-story buildings will be constructed on Dulaney Valley Court, near Towson Town Center Regional Mall and Interstate 695, replacing a 70-year old, 150-unit apartment community and tripling the site’s density. Baltimore County’s Design Review Panel approved plans for the project in March.

The Winthrop, the first phase of the project, is developed by Chesapeake Realty Partners and Wood Partners. It consists of 295 units with attached, structured parking at Dulaney Valley Road and Southerly Road. The Class A community will start leasing in May 2014.

Wood Partners is developing the second phase of the project together with Taylor Property Group. Phase two will deliver 175 units. The two buildings are designed to be complementary. However, they will be operated separately. Both communities will feature such amenities as controlled-access parking garages, fully featured Resident’s Clubs, swimming pools, fitness centers, game rooms—all in environmentally friendly/green buildings.

“We like Baltimore County for a number of reasons. Overall, it’s just a great place to live with lots of jobs,” Scott Zimmerly, director of Wood Partners’ Mid-Atlantic Region, said in a recent press statement. “This site is right off the beltway, Interstate 695, and it’s only 15 minutes from Baltimore City. It’s also very close to several colleges and to Towson Town Center, the premier shopping destination in the metro area.”

In the press release, Chesapeake Realty Partners Co-Chairman Lawrence M. Macks expressed his beliefs that the two communities will convince the target demographic to choose living in Towson over living in downtown Baltimore. Towson is the seat of Baltimore County. The area has the best demographics in the county.

Photo credits: Chesapeake Realty Partners



Apartment Projects Approved by Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel

28 Jul 2013, 10:20 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Baltimore will soon greet a new high-rise building. Developer David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd. of Owings Mills has plans for a 30-story mixed-use development on the eastern edge of the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the city’s design panel approved schematic designs for the proposed mixed-used office and residential tower on July 18. The new building will be located at 325 W. Baltimore street. It will include retail space on the ground floor, about  100,000 square feet of office space, 225 apartments and above-ground parking with approximately 400 spaces.

Howard S. Brown, chairman of David S. Brown Enterprises, thinks the project will help revitalize the neighborhood surrounding the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He told The Baltimore Sun his company would like to move forward as soon as possible and that the development would serve the students of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Before construction can start, a parking structure and four-story building have to be demolished. The project is expected to cost about $50 million. The 30-story tower is expected to take about 18 months to build. Towson’s Curry Architects are the project’s lead designers.

David S. Brown Enterprises is also working on other important projects in the Greater Baltimore area. The company is redeveloping the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre as a residential and retail tower in downtown Baltimore. The project was approved and praised by the city’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel last March. It will deliver 476 apartment units. In Owings Mills, David S. Brown Enterprises is building Metro Centre, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development that, upon completion, will add over 1.2 million square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of retail space, 1,700 residential units, educational facilities totaling 120,000 square feet and a hospitality component with up to 250 rooms.

The Baltimore Business Journal reported that the city’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel also approved Jefferson Apartment Group’s 200-unit Washington Hill project. It is the second phase of a larger, 500-unit apartment project near Johns Hopkins Hospital, in East Baltimore. The 300-unit first phase is already under construction and is expected to be completed in spring 2014.

 

Photo credits: Jefferson Apartment Group



252-Unit Apartment Community Sells in Greater Baltimore

19 Jul 2013, 11:32 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Haven at Odenton Gateway, a Class A, garden-style multi-housing community located in Odenton, Maryland, was purchased last week by AEW Capital Management, LP. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (HFF) marketed the property and represented the seller, Johnson Development Associates, Inc., an industrial and multifamily real estate development company based in South Carolina.

The apartment community at 615 Carlton Otto Lane was completed in 2012 and includes 252 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Units average 1,031 square feet each and feature designer kitchens, elegant crown molding, private screened-in balconies and patios, full washers and dryers, and king-size bedrooms with walk-in closets. Community amenities include a resort-style pool, a fitness center, a business center, private theater room, conference room and clubhouse.

One of the property’s strong points is its location between Washington DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis. It provides easy access to major commuter arteries in the Baltimore Washington Corridor and is just a few minutes from Fort Meade. The Haven at Odenton Gateway is also the first NAHB Research Center Green Certified community in Maryland to achieve the Silver Standard.

The financial details of the transaction were not released. Senior managing directors David Nachison and Alan Davis and director Brenden Flood of HFF represented the seller. AEW Capital Management purchased the Haven at Odenton Gateway free and clear of existing debt on the property.

“The recent large-scale relocation effort by the Department of Defense to Fort Meade, which is less than a 10 minute drive from the property, will only help to further ensure the long-term success of this well-located, luxury community solidifying the strength of this investment,” said Alan Davis in a press statement.

Phot credits: The Haven at Odenton Gateway



Garrison Investment Group Acquires Towson Commons

12 Jul 2013, 2:36 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Towson Commons has a new owner. New York-based Garrison Investment Group has purchased the 401,775 square foot mixed-use complex; the acquisition came after two recent major leases on the property. The price of the transaction was not announced.

The sale was arranged by Cassidy Turley, a leading U.S. commercial real estate services provider. Jonathan M. Carpenter and James S. Wellschlager of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group represented the seller, Towson Commons HH LLC/Capmark REO Holdings LLC.

Towson Commons is located at 1 West Pennsylvania Avenue and 40 West Chesapeake Avenue in Towson, MD. The former owner, Capmark Financial Inc., acquired the property at a foreclosure sale in early 2011, paying $28.5 million for it.

Towson Commons includes office, retail and a contiguous 887-space covered parking garage. Recently, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) renewed its lease and expanded, taking over 146,000 square feet within the office portion of the complex. And a few months ago, L.A. Fitness announced it will open a 48,000-square-foot club at the end of this year in the former eight-screen movie theater that anchored the complex. According to Cassidy Turley, the property is 70.01 percent leased

“The sale of Towson Commons will trigger a major investment in the retail component of the property, which has been sitting idle in the heart of downtown Towson for a number of years,” commented Jonathan M. Carpenter, managing director and principal at Cassidy Turley. “This rare, mixed-use value creation opportunity in the Towson urban core, combined with the stability of existing tenants like GDIT and LA Fitness, attracted 16 competitive offers from highly qualified investor groups.”

Photo credits: Google Maps




State Announces Three New Sustainable Communities in Baltimore County

5 Jul 2013, 2:20 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Great news for three Baltimore county areas. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Department of Planning have designated Catonsville/Patapsco, Greater Dundalk, and Hillendale/Parkville/Overlea as sustainable community areas under the state’s Sustainable Communities Act of 2010. The same designation was awarded to two other areas in Maryland, the Town of Chesapeake City in Cecil County and the City of Bowie in Prince George’s County.

A municipality identifies a Sustainable Community Area as an area in need of revitalization and for which the local government has created a comprehensive strategy to encourage and guide local investment in accordance with the principles of sustainability. The designation now makes the three areas eligible for state funds to help improve their economies, housing, transportation and the environment.

Baltimore county selected them because of the potential for revitalization. All that remains now is for the newly named sustainable communities to submit applications to the state requesting funding for specific projects.

          1. Catonsville/Patapsco

The county plans to take full advantage of the historic and natural resources in the Catonsville/Patapsco sustainable community. It will work to enhance the bike and pedestrian network, reduce trash in waterways and tributaries of Patapsco River, attract investment, encourage home ownership and the rehabilitation of historic properties, and also to get Patapsco Valley certified as a Maryland Heritage Area.

           2. Greater Dundalk

Greated Dundalk’s two War of 1812 sites, Battle Acre Park and North Point State Battlefield, will help Baltimore county in its efforts to increase opportunities for heritage tourism in the area. Housing rehabilitation efforts will also continue and the residents plan to link the existing waterfront parks with a path.

           3. Hillendale/Parkville/Overlea

Baltimore county is commited to enhance the area’s competitiveness. It will revitalize the Taylor Avenue, Harford Road and Belair Road commercial corridors and develop mixed-use projects on underutilized properties. Improved residential areas through the adoption of rehabilitation standards and greening practices will help the community become more sustainable. New trees will also be planted.

“We are pleased that the state has recognized the tremendous potential in each of these communities,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in a statement for the press. “The County’s Department of Planning has worked with each community to help identify unique opportunities for enhancing the health, housing, small business climate and quality of life in these traditional areas.”

Logo courtesy of Baltimore County.



USRA To Stay in Howard County, Buys 90,000-Sq.Ft. Building at Columbia Gateway

3 Jul 2013, 8:02 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) recently purchased a 90,000-square-foot building in Corporate Office Properties Trust’s 630-acre Columbia Gateway business park. The acquisition means good news for Howard County, as the organization that conducts research for the U.S. Space Program had considered moving to other locations around the country.

The USRA has been located in Columbia since 1976. However, it had outgrown its small office and, last year, it started looking for new locations across the country, including Houston, Texas, where it already has a large presence, and the Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area.

The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore worked together with the Howard County Economic Development Authority and state officials, and managed to convince the organization to remain and grow in Howard County. Earlier this year, the USRA decided to acquire the property in Columbia Gateway. It finalized the acquisition two weeks ago but the price of the transaction was not disclosed.

“We are pleased that USRA chose to remain in Howard County,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “Any state would have been fortunate to land USRA, but the fact that they chose to remain in Howard County shows that we have an environment conducive to growth. For more than four decades, USRA has considered Howard County its home. We are thrilled that they will continue to be here for decades to come.”

The new location will serve as the non-profit’s national headquarters. It will host scientific conferences and public exhibits, which will include artifacts from the early U.S. space program. Redesign and construction of the new facility has already started. The USRA plans to move into the new headquarters in late November and to hold a public open house in the spring of next year.

“Columbia Gateway in Howard County is the ideal location for our new national headquarters,” said Fred Tarantino, USRA President. “Close by are Federal laboratories and other premier institutions, and the quality of life Howard County affords our employees was of the utmost importance in our decision. I want to thank Howard County and its Economic Development Authority for all of the assistance they gave us as we were exploring where best to locate within the United States.”

The USRA is a non-profit organization that conducts research in astronomy, earth science, space biomedicine, space technology and computer science. It currently employs about 500 people in the United States, half of whom hold PhDs.

Photo credits: Corporate Office Properties Trust



Interest High in Baltimore Area Industrial Properties

14 Jun 2013, 3:15 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Investors continue to exhibit confidence in the Greater Baltimore industrial market. The low unemployment, close proximity to Washington, DC and Philadelphia, and ease of access to the Port of Baltimore make the area very attractive to industrial users and investors.

Terreno Realty Corporation has acquired an industrial property in Elkridge, Md. The deal was closed on June 12, with a purchase price of almost $16.7 million.

The property consists of two multi-tenant industrial distribution buildings located at 6675 Amberton Drive and 6660 Santa Barbara Road. The buildings are adjacent to I-95, US Route 1 and Maryland Route 100 in the Baltimore/Washington Corridor. They provide 107 dock-high and 10 drive-in doors and offer approximately 349,000 square feet of space on 17.9 acres of land. The two buildings are 64% occupied and are leased to seven tenants. According to Terreno, the estimated stabilized cap rate of the property is 8.0%.

Terreno Realty Corporation is a San Francisco-based buyer, owner and operator of industrial real estate in six major coastal U.S. markets: Los Angeles; Northern New Jersey/New York City; San Francisco Bay Area; Seattle; Miami; and Washington, D.C./Baltimore.

In related news, Cassidy Turley recently announced the completion of three leases within the Baltimore Washington Corridor. The leases total over 33,000 square feet of industrial space at RREEF’s New Ridge/Benson portfolio.

The properties are located at 7476 New Ridge Road in Hanover, Md. and 3431 Benson Avenue in Baltimore. They total 132,276 square feet and are presently 75% leased, according to Cassidy Turley.

Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc., represented by Cassidy Turley’s David Downey and Michael Walsh, leased 20,302 square feet. T.F. Andrew Carpet One, Inc., represented by Michael Walsh of Cassidy Turley, leased 10,104 square feet, while SETO Holdings, Inc., represented by Cushman and Wakefield’s Jonathan Casella, leased 2,153 square feet.

The landlord, RREEF, was represented by Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team. “We are very pleased with the client-first, results oriented service that Jarred and Tilghman provide. Combined with a comprehensive knowledge of Baltimore’s industrial market, they are a true value-add service provider,” said Michael Ready, vice president of Real Estate Asset Management with RREEF/Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, in a press statement.

Charts courtesy of CBRE.







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